Therapists & Sexual Attraction to Clients

Remember, psychotherapists are people too. The relationship between client & therapists is not meant to be warm and fuzzy. Think you are attracted to your therapist? Maybe it’s mutual.

When therapists have the hots for their clients

Martin, C., Godfrey, M., Meekums, B., and Madill, A. (2011). Managing boundaries under pressure: A qualitative study of therapists’ experiences of sexual attraction in therapy. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 11 (4), 248-256

DOI: 10.1080/14733145.2010.519045

Clients go to psychotherapy seeking a mind massage, but all too often things turn physical. Cases of inappropriate sexual contact in psychotherapy average around 10 per cent prevalence, and a 2006 survey of hundreds of psychotherapists found that nearly 90 per cent reported having been sexually attracted to a client on at least one occasion. It’s an issue dramatised artfully in the HBO series In Treatment, which follows the life and work of psychotherapist Dr Paul Weston.

The therapists were generally of the view that sexual attraction to clients was normal and not necessarily harmful. However, views differed on exactly where the boundaries should lie. For example, some therapists condoned fantasising about clients whereas others did not.

retrieved 01-05-14. Full article

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